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Paul Harries: Slipknot: Dysfunctional Family Portraits

The evolution of The Nine, through the lens of their favourite snapper.

In the autumn of 1999, in the company of this writer, Paul Harries became the first British photographer to visit Slipknot at home in Iowa, in order to shoot their debut UK magazine cover: he has been on hand to document their journey ever since.

While photos of drummer Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan stabbing bloodied goat skulls are unlikely to convince doubters that Slipknot are one of modern metal’s most cerebral and artistic collectives, Harries’ sensitive, striking imagery humanises the men behind the masks, and captures the camaraderie amid the chaos, not least in a touching shot showing late bassist Paul Gray and frontman Corey Taylor in a pre-show hug.

Taylor himself writes of “a trust that has to exist between the lens and the light” and the intimacy of Harries’ portraits serves to illustrate that in gaining the respect of this unconventional unit, he’s become an integral part of the family.

Classic Rock 214: Stuff

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.